John Howard Attacks History Curriculum In Warrane Lecture

The former Prime Minister, John Howard, has again criticised the teaching of history during a lecture at the University of New South Wales.

Howard

He repeatedly returned to the question of history teaching during his lecture. At one point he lamented the teaching of Kylie Minogue and ACDC in preference to economic globalisation. He also claimed the rise and fall of Soviet communism was not catered for in the Australian curriculum.

Howard said the curriculum did not require students to study Australia history from the late 18th century until 1914. He said the achievement of Federation was overlooked and that important reforms, such as the granting women the right to vote, were understated. History devolved too much into issues rather than focussing on what actually occurred. [Read more…]


Abbott Announces Panel To Examine Democratisation Of NSW Liberals

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced the formation of an Expert Panel to consider reform of the NSW Liberal Party.

The announcement came during Abbott’s address to the NSW Liberal Party State Council in Sydney today.

“I love this party,” Abbott told the gathering. He said the Expert Panel would examine preselection reform and democratisation of the party.

The reform process will be led by former prime minister John Howard. He will be assisted by one of his former ministers, David Kemp, the former president of the NSW division, Chris McDiven, and the longtime member for Berowra, Philip Ruddock.

Concern over the preselection process and factionalism within the NSW division has grown in recent years. The party’s failure to win more seats in NSW cost it government in 2010. The candidacy of Jaymes Diaz cost the party the seat of Greenway at this year’s election.

Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Address to the NSW Liberal Party State Council in Sydney.

Well, what a fantastic day to be together as part of our extended Liberal family. It is an extraordinary honour to be with you this morning. It is an extraordinary honour to be with you this morning as your Prime Minister.

I am under no illusions, I know that the only reason that we have a new Government in Canberra, the only reason that I am Prime Minister is because I am the product of this great Party. [Read more…]


John Howard Climate Change Speech: One Religion Is Enough

Former Prime Minister John Howard has delivered a speech on climate change in which he calls for a “sense of proportion” in the global warming debate and says that “first principles tell us never to accept that all of the science is in on any proposition”.

HowardHoward said: “In the past five years, the dynamic of the global warming debate has shifted away from exaggerated acceptance of the worst possible implications of what a majority of climate scientists tell us, towards a more balanced and questioning approach.” He warned against use of “offensive language” such as the term “denier”.

Howard said it is “highly unlikely” there will ever be a worldwide agreement on global warming. He said he had “always been something of an agnostic on global warming” and suggested his support for an emissions trading scheme in 2007 was purely political and occurred at a time when it was expedient to be seen to be “doing something”.

Nuclear energy must be part of any long term response to global warming, Howard said.

Transcript of John Howard’s speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London.

One religion is Enough

I thank Nigel Lawson and his colleagues for their invitation to be here tonight. When he asked me to deliver this lecture Lord Lawson said that I could talk about what I chose. I think that was not meant quite as literally as it might seem. I am sure he had in mind that I might share with you my views on the contemporary state of the debate on global warming, especially from an Australian perspective. That has special relevance; Australia has a new PM, and integral to his successful campaign was sustained opposition to a carbon tax. [Read more…]


British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s Howard Lecture

This is the audio of UK Foreign Secretary William Hague’s Howard Lecture at the Menzies Resource Centre in Sydney.

Hague

Hague was introduced by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. He also answered questions. Former Prime Minister John Howard gave the thank you speech.

  • Listen to Abbott’s introductory speech (7m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Listen to Hague’s speech (20m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Listen to Hague take questions (14m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Listen to John Howard (9m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



Howard Lecture: Tony Abbott Introduces William Hague

This is the text and audio of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s speech to the Menzies Research Centre, in Sydney.

Abbott

Abbott introduced UK Foreign Secretary William Hague who gave the John Howard Lecture.

After Hague’s speech, Abbott spoke to the media.

  • Listen to Abbott’s speech (7m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Listen to Abbott’s media conference (8m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Speech by Tony Abbott, introducing UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

It is terrific to see in this room just about every Australian who is not actually at the beach at this time. I particularly want to acknowledge the presence of my Shadow Cabinet colleagues, George Brandis, Andrew Robb, Malcolm Turnbull, Sophie Mirabella and Philip Ruddock.

I wish to acknowledge the presence of my other parliamentary colleagues, Senator Sinodinos, Senator Ryan, Kelly O’Dwyer, Senator Eggleston, Senator Fawcett, Jamie Briggs, Josh Frydenberg, Jane Prentice, Wyatt Roy, Senator Mason and John Alexander. Thank you for being here. We could just about have a Shadow Cabinet meeting after this event but they are here for our former Prime Minister and to hear William Hague deliver the fourth John Howard address. [Read more…]


John Howard Collects His Order Of Merit

Former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard has received the Order of Merit from the Queen.

In London for the Jubilee celebrations, Howard met with the Queen to receive the award which is solely within the gift of the monarch.

Howard told the Queen: “It was an enormous privilege to be your Australian prime minister.”



Who Says Abbott Should Flick The Switch To Positive?

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have one thing in common: Their lives contain the never-ending irritation of people telling them how they should do their jobs.

AbbottEven their summer break won’t be free of the buzz of gratuitous advice. As much as they must wish to swat it away, politics demands they feign nonchalance.

In their private moments, I kind of hope they rail against the indignity of it. After all, they’re the ones who entered the arena and made it into parliament. As they claw and scramble their way to the top, they must surely know that the rest of us would struggle, as the Americans say, to be elected dog catcher. “Walk in my shoes awhile, you have no idea,” they must sometimes think.

Gillard has had more than her share of advice this year but in recent weeks the political and journalistic establishment has turned its attention to Abbott. The message is a simple one: it’s time to go positive. [Read more…]


After Four Years, Labor Is Still Buying Time

The Labor Government celebrated four years in office on Thursday with a manoeuvre that all but guaranteed it will serve a full term.

AnniversaryAs it embarks on its fifth year in office, Peter Slipper’s defection has enabled Julia Gillard to fulfil one of the most important goals of a prime minister: to insulate her government against sudden threats and extend its longevity.

The means may make some pall but the ends are delightful for a government living on the edge.

But not much else has changed. Only the madly optimistic believe Labor will make it to a sixth birthday.

Of all Australia’s federal governments since World War I, only those led by Scullin (1929-32) and Whitlam (1972-75) failed to make it to four years, although death and party-room coups meant the prime ministerial baton was often snatched from one leader and deposited with another. Only Scullin, Whitlam, Fraser and Howard led their parties to victory and then back into opposition. [Read more…]


AFL Grand Final: Political Speeches

One of the traditions of the Australian Football League Grand Final is the North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast.

It is customary for the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader to address the breakfast each year. On occasion, events conspire against their attendance and their deputies stand in.

Here’s a selection from the past decade.

2002

  • John Howard (Liberal PM)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Simon Crean (ALP Opposition Leader)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

2007

  • John Howard (Liberal PM)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Kevin Rudd (ALP Opposition Leader)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

2008

  • Julia Gillard (ALP Deputy Prime Minister)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal Opposition Leader)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

2010

  • Julia Gillard (ALP Prime Minister) and Julie Bishop (Liberal Deputy Leader)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

2011

  • Julia Gillard (ALP Prime Minister)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Tony Abbott (Liberal Opposition Leader)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This is the text of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s address to the 2011 AFL Grand Final Breakfast in Melbourne.

It’s great to be making my maiden appearance at this great national institution, the North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast.

Ladies and gentlemen, the supreme virtue of Australian Rules is that it’s the one football code that wasn’t invented in England.

My one and only game was a defiant assertion of our national identity: I was playing for Oxford University Australians against Cambridge University Australians.

Unfortunately, no one had told me that a ball kicked out was thrown in by the umpire and not by a player, so I instinctively grabbed the ball and tried to form a line out.

It was at this point that I realised a “balls-up” was not just another way of restarting play – or what happens when politicians try to address the problems of the nation.

My Aussie Rules education continued during last year’s election campaign with Jobe Watson teaching me to handball, badly, at Windy Hill and Harry Taylor giving me marking practice at Skilled Stadium. It was an expensive lesson: we made a $36 million commitment to rebuild the place because Frank Costa drives a hard bargain.

Right now, there seem to be a few parallels between the AFL and politics.

In recent days we have seen someone called Swan labelled the best at his craft in the whole world. Well sorry, Wayne. Dane Swan is the world’s greatest and he thoroughly deserved the Brownlow medal.

I understand that Collingwood has a succession plan that involves Mick Malthouse relinquishing power to Nathan Buckley. It’s just like John Howard planned to hand over to Peter Costello. Lucky there’s an Eddie McGuire to make the deal stick.

Geelong has done magnificently, even after sending their best player to Queensland. It’s a bit like the Australian government after Kevin Rudd was put on the transfer list.

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about everything being too negative and too aggressive with all the focus being on bringing the other side down and I reckon that means Cameron Ling would make a great opposition leader.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to pay tribute today to two historic clubs and to everyone who’s helped two great sides to get to this year’s Grand Final.

It might not make much sense for our clubs and our pubs but, for politicians on Grand Final day, there is no escaping mandatory pre-commitment. Mine is to the Cats: and by 10 points.

Finally, I should acknowledge that there will soon be an AFL team in western Sydney – a place where Aussie Rules supporters were once as rare as Liberal voters.

I do hope that this new club might further initiate me into the sacred rites of the AFL provided I’m permitted a bit of political evangelism on the side.

Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen.


John Howard Talks Politics

John Howard is out and about promoting the new paperback version of his memoirs.

Howard has written an extra chapter of his memoirs, Lazarus Rising.

In these three videos from Channel 10, he discusses a wide range of issues.